Approve the Cookies
This website uses cookies to improve your user experience. By using this site, you agree to our use of cookies and our Privacy Policy.
Index  •   • New posts  •   • RTAT  •   • 'Best of'  •   • Gallery  •   • Gear  •   • Reviews
New posts  •   • RTAT  •   • 'Best of'  •   • Gallery  •   • Gear  •   • Reviews
Register to forums    Log in

FORUMS Post Processing, Marketing & Presenting Photos The Business of Photography 
Thread started 28 Dec 2011 (Wednesday) 08:28
Search threadPrev/next
sponsored links
(this ad will go away when you log in as a registered member)

How do you transport your gear to shoots in the city?

Senior Member
302 posts
Joined Dec 2010
Dec 28, 2011 08:28 |  #1

I currently work semi-professionally in the city, and I'm wondering how other photographers in cities without a personal vehicle transport their gear.

Do any of you take public transportation to get to photo shoots? Do you take a taxi? Do you rent a car?

How would you transport a Pelican case full of camera gear and another hard case full of lighting stands and tripods?

5D II | 24-70 2.8L II | 16-35 2.8L II | 70-200 2.8L IS II | 50 1.4 | 430 EX II x2 | PW ControlTL

sponsored links
(this ad will go away when you log in as a registered member)
1,665 posts
Likes: 10
Joined Nov 2009
Location: Cape Breton, Nova Scotia
Dec 28, 2011 09:12 |  #2

When I lived in Toronto I'd just pack everything into my Bag and hit the subway.

Then again, I was used to hauling around two turntables (in a large coffin case), mixer and a record crate up and down the City on Transit so it wasn't much of thought into doing it.

Just take someone with you to assist with the second hard case and keep the Pelican case with you.

Erik - Three Miles Final (external link)
- Gear List -

sigma ­ pi
Cream of the Crop
11,204 posts
Likes: 5
Joined Apr 2010
Location: Los Angeles
Dec 28, 2011 10:58 |  #3

I am in Los Angeles we can drive around the city with no problem.

Don't try to confuse me with the facts, my mind is already made up. …6850267535/in/p​hotostream (external link)

Senior Member
893 posts
Likes: 1
Joined Jun 2008
Dec 28, 2011 11:44 |  #4

I live in the third largest city, it is easy. I drive everywhere. For the small time I did not live in a major city, I drove. I can throw my gear in the trunk, unload a few pelican cases, stands, etc, and park. Do not be the person on public transportation with multiple suitcases. Takes up too much room and it is an inconvenience to others. If you do not own a car, rent, or hire shuttle service/taxi.

Canon 5DIII, 7D, 40D, 8-14L, 24-70 f2.8L, 70-200 f2.8L IS, 24L, 50L, 85 f1.8, 100L, 135L, 1.4 Extender, Tokina 16-28 f2.8, and too many lights and accessories to list.
Website (external link)

Mostly Lurking
11 posts
Joined Dec 2006
Dec 28, 2011 11:52 |  #5

If you don't have a car, try Zipcar if they're available in your area. There's other smaller companies, like iGo in Chicago, but Zipcar is the most recognizable. They're in many major cities with public transit or with a decent college population. Otherwise, try googling your city with "car sharing". I wouldn't want to haul all of that on the subway, either for inconvenience of too much weight or for risk of getting jumped for it.

Canon Rebel XTI- w/ kit 18-55mm lens, Tamron 70-300mm, Sigma 24-70mm and Canon 50mm f/1.8 lens.

I'm a chimper. There I said it...
36,502 posts
Gallery: 147 photos
Best ofs: 6
Likes: 6117
Joined May 2007
Location: Oak Park, Illinois
Dec 28, 2011 12:10 as a reply to  @ unaffirmed's post |  #6

Two large bags for my lighting equipment and light stands and modifiers. For my WL 1200s and travelite 750s in a calumet case and my modifiers and stands in an old lightware case. My cameras are in my everyday bag and my portable strobes are in a separate shoulder bag.

I have a Honda Fit for work that the back seats lay perfectly flat and I can lay down that front passenger seat so I can get 9 ft rolls of seamless paper in. Perfect for my gear and work (great on gas too).

112 posts
Joined Apr 2008
Location: Toronto
Dec 28, 2011 15:09 |  #7

My wife does hair and make up for weddings. Anytime she does one, we rent a car.

Its a tax write off for us.

Sometimes she also charges a travel fee if the location is over a certain number of hours away from home.

If you need to, add a travel fee if the shoot is outside of the area you like to stay in

Spam has never touched my lips but it flows from my finger tips
flickr (external link) | Google+ (external link) …tephotography/5​432407239/ (external link)

POTN Landscape & Cityscape Photographer 2005
10,884 posts
Likes: 5
Joined Apr 2003
Location: southern Alberta, Canada
Dec 29, 2011 14:46 as a reply to  @ Slave7081's post |  #8

I always show up in my own vehicles but I think that there is also a level of customer perception at play here. If I was the customer and I saw my photographer hawking his gear off public transit it might give me pause to think. Would I recommend him to anyone else. I suggest renting a car and that way you can take as much gear as you want.

My life is like one big RAW file....way too much post processing needed.
Sheldon Simpson | My Gallery (external link) | My Gear updated: 20JUL12

2,304 posts
Likes: 2
Joined Nov 2006
Jan 02, 2012 22:56 |  #9

I have a van dedicated to my business since many of my projects require a lot gear beyond just the photography stuff. Parking, tolls, etc, are all included in my costs, but not specifically shown on the invoices. For assignments when I don't require a lot of gear, such as editorial portraits for magazines, I have a ThinkTank Airport roller bag which carries two bodies, lenses, 4 580EX strobes, pocket wizards, filters, etc, and another long bag that hold the lighting stands, grip, gels, and a couple of softboxes and reflectors. I can get around on the subway quite well with these without much hassle, and it has everything I'd need for a simple portrait. But I rarely take public transportation since its just easier and more convenient to drive.

If you really need to use public transportation, you should be able to put together a god setup in a roller bag for gear, and a medium tripod bag for stands, etc, with little trouble. Attach the tripod bag to the roller bag and its very easy to get around without any weight on your shoulders.

Commercial Photography (external link)

Senior Member
266 posts
Likes: 1
Joined May 2007
Jan 02, 2012 23:23 as a reply to  @ sfaust's post |  #10

When just shooting small I would just take two backpacks. Wear one and carry the other. That would get me on any metro.

If I had to carry full gear and lighting, then I'd take a taxi. But if you have a lot of shoots you're better off just renting a car if you don't have your own rather than paying taxi fares back and forth each way.

sponsored links
(this ad will go away when you log in as a registered member)

959 views & 0 likes for this thread
How do you transport your gear to shoots in the city?
FORUMS Post Processing, Marketing & Presenting Photos The Business of Photography 
x 1600
y 1600

Jump to forum...   •  Rules   •  Index   •  New posts   •  RTAT   •  'Best of'   •  Gallery   •  Gear   •  Reviews   •  Member list   •  Polls   •  Image rules   •  Search   •  Password reset

Not a member yet?
Register to forums
Registered members may log in to forums and access all the features: full search, image upload, follow forums, own gear list and ratings, likes, more forums, private messaging, thread follow, notifications, own gallery, all settings, view hosted photos, own reviews, see more and do more... and all is free. Don't be a stranger - register now and start posting!

COOKIES DISCLAIMER: This website uses cookies to improve your user experience. By using this site, you agree to our use of cookies and to our privacy policy.
Privacy policy and cookie usage info.

POWERED BY AMASS forum software 2.1forum software
version 2.1 /
code and design
by Pekka Saarinen ©

Latest registered member is jeffarnold
970 guests, 219 members online
Simultaneous users record so far is 15144, that happened on Nov 22, 2018 Digital Photography Forums is the website for photographers and all who love great photos, camera and post processing techniques, gear talk, discussion and sharing. Professionals, hobbyists, newbies and those who don't even own a camera -- all are welcome regardless of skill, favourite brand, gear, gender or age. Registering and usage is free.